Friday, 16 April 2021

VA encourages veterans to leave smoking behind during annual Great American Smokeout

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is encouraging veterans to leave smoking behind for good Nov. 19, during the Great American Smokeout by combining cessation counseling with other VA clinical resources and support.

Research shows behavioral counseling can significantly improve one’s chances of quitting and combining counseling and medication works better than medication or counseling alone.

“VA’s counseling programs are one of most effective tools available for veterans who want to permanently stop smoking,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The Great American Smokeout is the perfect time for veterans to connect with their health care provider and take the first step toward improving their physical and mental health —to stop smoking for good.”

VA health care providers can help veterans explore the role tobacco plays in their daily routine, including the activities or situations that trigger them to use tobacco, such as talking on the phone, drinking coffee or alcohol or feeling bored or stressed.

Providers work with veterans to develop strategies for coping with those triggers and to tailor plans for quitting that will fit into a veteran’s daily life.

In addition to counseling, VA provides other services designed to help veterans stop smoking, including prescription medications, nicotine replacement products like gum and patches, and resources such as Quit VET and SmokefreeVET.

Learn more about tobacco cessation.

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